Today I am delighted to be kicking off BLINK Blog Tour on publication day with a Q&A interview with the author herself….KL Slater. You can grab your copy of BLINK on the link below.
Hello and welcome to Chelle’s Book Reviews. Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I live in Nottingham with my husband. Between us we have three grown-up kids – my daughter, Francesca, and Mac’s two sons, Nathan and Jake. I previously worked as a self-employed budget manager in Nottingham schools for fifteen years but happily, became a full-time writer in 2015.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I’ve always loved both reading and writing from a very young age. I can remember reading books I really loved by authors such as Enid Blyton and CS Lewis and thinking, ‘I’d like to write stories like this.’
I kind of came the long way round to publishing – and it wasn’t by choice! I tried for years and years to get published and have a wedge of rejection slips to prove it. I was writing mainly adult crime in those days but my breakthrough came after I enrolled, at the age of 43, for an MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University.
I wrote a Young Adult story called ‘Smart’ as part of my degree which, after developing it into a full-length YA novel, got me an agent and publisher. After becoming an established YA author (writing as Kim Slater) and giving up my day job, I turned back to my first love; Crime! I signed an initial 3-book deal with Bookouture and very recently signed for a further 4 books.
I now write in both genres and love them both.
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
My favourite crime genre to read is psychological thrillers and I’m lucky enough to write in that genre too. I feel like I know my audience very well. They are mainly (but not all) women of all ages, lots of them with very busy lives filled with working and with families to look after . . . and all of them, avid readers!
I think my readers want to open a book like ‘Blink’ and have the luxury of disappearing into it for an hour or two, enjoying the twists and turns and guessing what I’m up to with my authorial smoke and mirrors . . . Mwahaha!
What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I ran two careers for over three years; working full-time in schools and also as a published writer with deadlines. I write best in a morning, so I’d set the alarm clock for 6 am and write at least 1,000 words before getting ready for my budget work in schools at 8 am. Working two jobs was tough but it gave me the discipline to sit down and write, no excuses.
Now I write full-time, my start time is a little more relaxed but I still use the wordcount stick on myself. I keep going until I’ve met it, even on the days the words won’t flow. Sometimes that means not going out to the cinema with my husband or taking a walk in the afternoon. This system allows me to write a first draft I’m reasonably happy to send to my editor, in around three months.
I write every day, seven days a week. Oh wait – I’m exaggerating, I usually take Christmas day off!! Writing isn’t a job to me, it’s something I love to do so I even work when I go on holiday, although usually, just for an hour or two a day.
Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
I would say all my characters are based on people I know, have met or have heard about. But no character IS a real person, if that makes sense.
Over the years, you meet some really interesting people – maybe just overhear someone chatting on the bus or gossiping in a restaurant. It all gets filed in my Sneaky Writer’s Mental Notebook. Then I put them all in my virtual mixing pot and come up with someone troubling and unpredictable, like Anna, in Safe With Me!
Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
Sometimes, yes. Not actual personal situations but I’ll definitely reach for a feeling of loneliness, or frustration . . . the kind of experiences and feelings we all know. It’s invaluable as an author to be able to access how some emotions actually show themselves in a person’s physical state. Telling the reader that my heart is pumping and my chest is tight, is far more interesting than saying, ‘I feel scared.’
What research do you do?
I do research and it varies to whatever the book demands. In ‘Safe With Me’, Anna is a postal worker and her job is integral to the plot. So, it was very useful to have a brother and auntie, who are both postal workers! I discussed some general processes with my auntie but then I kind of put my own spin on it. Someone contacted me later, to say a postal worker usually calls their round ‘a walk’ and that would’ve been a more accurate description for the book. But I think the reader knows what I mean by a round and I’m not going to get caught up in tiny details because ultimately, I’m more interested in writing a good tale!
I did quite a lot of online research on the medical condition Locked-in Syndrome before I started to write ‘Blink’ – I contacted a specialist to see if he’d speak to me but never received a reply so I just went ahead and did my own research. I mainly read articles on real sufferers’ accounts of how it felt to Locked-in. Feelings and experiences of real people are what I’m mostly interested in, rather than capturing precise medical details.
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
Stephen King. I love his early work like Misery, The Shining and Salem’s Lot. Sadly, I’m not so keen on his more recent stuff and loads of people I know feel the same, so maybe if we wrote together, I could pull him back on track to produce the kind of books us fans really want from him!!
What’s your favourite book?
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is what pops in my head today but I could give you a hundred others that I love just as much.
What’s your favourite food?
I’d have to say, my husband’s signature dish; creamy chicken and bacon pasta with garlic bread….Mmm!
What’s your favourite film?
Kes, set in Yorkshire and based on the outstanding book ‘From a Kestrel to a Knave’ by Barry Hines – another favourite!
What’s your favourite song?
Right now? Human by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. All-time favourite would probably have to be Jesus to a Child by George Michael.
How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
I have a website: www.KLSlaterAuthor.com or readers can catch up with me on Twitter: @KimLSlater or even Facebook: KL Slater Author!
BLINK by KL Slater –
What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister.
What readers are saying about Blink:
‘I was excited to start reading this one and once I started I couldn’t stop. I devoured it. Chomped away chapter by chapter until I have hoofed the whole damned lot and you know what? It left me hungry for more …An absolutely stonking 5 stars from me. Jen Med’s Book Reviews
‘This is a novel that those who liked The Girl on The Train and Behind Closed Doors won’t want to miss’ My Little Book Corner
‘I finished this book in nearly one day. I was completely unable to put this book down. Everything about this book sucks you in and doesn’t let go.‘ Bombshell Reads
‘Blink was just BRILLIANT’ It’s All About Books
‘A thrilling roller coaster of a read that will have you gripping on for dear life to see how it will all end’ By the Letter Book Reviews
‘The book had me from the very first sentence and kept hold of me until I finished it.… There are twists galore but on one occasion my jaw actually dropped open as I realised that all was not as it seemed. Fantastic writing, excellent characterisation that has left me salivating for book number three! Five stars.‘ Angela Marsons
‘Five stars! This book had me hook line and sinker … this author’s mind is very very clever …‘ Sue and her Books
‘WOW,What a corker of a book, gripping story, believable untrustworthy characters and not just one but two totally jaw dropping unexpected twists.‘ Nicki’s Life of Crime
‘What a read …The ending took me completely by surprise! In most books, I end up guessing the ending, but this book was spectacular. The book had me gripped from word ‘go’. I couldn’t stop reading …a brilliant brilliant book‘Any Excuse to Read
‘a fantastic psychological thriller and I was kept hooked throughout. Lots of twists and turns, an excellent pace and so much suspense and surprise, I didn’t quite know where the book was going at times …couldn’t be anything other than five stars!‘ Donna’s Book Blog
‘With bucketfuls of suspense and intrigue Blink is guaranteed to keep the most hardened psychological thriller love on the edge of their seats. Five Stars. ‘ The Book Review Cafe
‘Pure genius!! Blink is everything a psychological thriller should be! K L Slater is in a class of her own …Just when you think you have it figured out, you are knocked out of the park! One of the most mind-bending twists ever, just simply stunning!’ What Rachel Read Next
‘The twist towards the end took me completely by surprise. I actually had to put the book down for a moment and stop before I could carry on. It really took my breath away. K. L. Slater pulled this off brilliantly!’ Hooked from Page One
‘K.L. Slater has done it again with her latest book, Blink. From a creepy beginning to the twisty end, this book keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Hang on for the ride‘ Shelf Knowledge